Okay, so in case you didn’t hear, Ben Affleck is going to play Batman opposite Henry Cavill in 2015’s
World’s Finest Superman/Batman movie. Every other site is going to be posting long, bile spewing hate rants about the same thing, and I’m writing about this at 1:00am, so here’s my brief two cents.
Ben Affleck is not a bad actor. He didn’t have a reputation for good movies in the late 90’s/early 00’s, but he’s got a solid resume. Everyone remembers him for dumb movies like Gigli, Reindeer Games and Armageddon. And let’s not even get started on his turn as Matt Murdock in Daredevil. Yes. They were bad movies, or (at best) movies that you watched to be brainlessly entertained. But let’s take a look at some other stuff he’s done.
- Dogma. Everyone likes Dogma. (Editor's note: I don't like Dogma).
- Hollywoodland. Very good movie.
- Smokin’ Aces. Underrated movie.
- He’s Just Not That Into You. Well, all the girls I talked to said he was good in it.
- State of Play. Another very good movie.
- The Town. I have yet to meet someone who dislikes this movie.
- Gone Baby Gone. He directed this one, but it was met with nigh-universal critical acclaim.
And let’s not forget about his award-winning work:
- Good Will Hunting. Where he won his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and was also nominated for Best Picture.
- Argo. Where he won his second Oscar. For Best Picture.
Think about that for a second. Now let’s count the collective Oscars of the rest of the Batman actors. Between West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney and Bale there are a collective 3 Oscars between them. Two of them are Clooney’s, one of which is the Oscar for Best Picture which Clooney won for…drumroll...Argo. So really, Affleck beats all the other actors who’ve donned the cape and cowl except for Clooney, with whom he is tied.
Yes, Christian Bale has an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter. He also has a comparably solid resume. Besides the Nolan!Bat films, Bale has American Psycho, 3:10 To Yuma, The Prestige, The Fighter and Terminator: Salvation. Four great movies and one ehhhhhhh. We won’t bring up Reign of Fire, (Editor: but you should definitely see Equilbrium).
Someone capable of great performances isn't necessarily a bad actor. Don’t get so upset because Affleck had such a bad turn with Daredevil. The script and direction of that film didn’t give him much to work with. Sure, he probably phoned it in, but the entire movie doesn’t rest on his shoulders. The only thing I’m truthfully, honestly worried about is how he’ll move in the suit. I have no qualms or doubts about Affleck’s ability to play Bruce Wayne. I’ll reserve judgment on how he’ll be as Batman until I see footage.
Moral of the story: let’s not get all raged out yet. How many people out there honestly thought that Chris Evans was going to be a kickass Captain America after only ever seeing him as Human Torch? Didn’t we all have doubts about RDJ as Tony Stark since he’d been in and out of rehab and away from Hollywood for so long? What about when they announced Mark Ruffalo was The Hulk and we all shook our heads and said, “The guy from 13 Going On 30 and Zodiac?” Who wasn’t scratching their head when Chris Hemsworth was named Thor when the most anyone knew him from was the first 15 minutes of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek?
And if you can show me one person who honestly believed from day one that Heath Ledger would be a terrifying, menacing, sadistic and intriguing Joker, then I’ll show you a liar.
Quit your raging. Give Affleck a chance before you start griping about how the entire franchise is going to be ruined.